Commonly Used Aluminum Grades in Extrusion
Taking the time to evaluate the various qualities of aluminum and how they may influence or improve the final product is a critical aspect of the aluminum extrusion setup that many folks skip. While design can help prevent corrosion in novel ways, choosing the right alloy is also important for the finished product's strength, longevity, and aesthetics. The advantages of extruding aluminum alloys are greater than those of utilizing a simple billet of raw aluminum alone.
The Characteristics of Aluminum Alloy
Aluminum grades are distinguished by their serial numbers ranging from 1xxx to 7xxx. Most of these alloys comprise 90% aluminum plus one or more metal additives to boost their physical and chemical properties.
Since the 1xxx series comprises a minimum of 99.00% aluminum, it is occasionally referred to as the pure aluminum series. On the other hand, the breakdown of the principal alloy element in series 2xxx to 7xxx is as follows:
● 2xxx: Copper
● 3xxx: manganese
● 4xxx: Silicon
● 5xxx: Magnesium
● 6xxx: Magnesium and Silicon:
● 7xxx: Zinc
The best aluminum grades for extrusions are the alloy series 6xxx and 1xxx. Here's a look:
It is lighter than other aluminum grades and has a tensile strength in the 10 - 27 ksi range. It can be welded. However, various factors must be considered to achieve reliable welding techniques due to its limited melting range. This alloy is generally chosen for manufacturing because of its outstanding electrical conductivity and corrosion resistance.
However, it's rarely used in structural applications because of its weak mechanical properties. It is most commonly used in:
● Specialized chemical piping and tanks
● Electrical bar
With considerable amounts of silicon to lower the melting point and enhance its extrudability, 6005 offers exceptional extrusion qualities. Its yield and tensile strength are similar to those of 6061 alloys. However, it's generally simpler and also easier to process.
For added hardness, it can also be cold-formed in the tempers T1, T5, and T61. Its bending characteristics, however, make it a poor alternative for systems that might be prone to excess weight or forces. Naturally, you can weld this alloy in different ways, but the heat might weaken the material, so it is recommended to use an extrusion design to achieve any special features.
It's useful on open or hollow extrusion designs and is mostly utilized in applications that demand greater strength and longevity. These include:
● Ladder structures
● Handrail tubing
● Structural applications
● Automobile connector stocks
● Structural tubing
The 6061 alloy is the most popular heat-treatable alloy and is frequently used as an alternative to low-carbon steel. It has medium to high strength due to the substantial amounts of magnesium. It has a high silicon content, which helps it break down more slowly. Additionally, it lowers the metal's thermal expansion temperature, enhancing the fluidity of the casting melt.
Furthermore, silicon increases strength and malleability while reducing contraction during the solidification phase of the alloy. For increased strength, 6061 can also be cold-formed in the T1, T4, T51, and T6 tempers.
It's useful in open or hollow extrusion designs and is mainly used in the following applications:
● Railroad cars
● Tank fittings
● Heavy-duty structures
● Marine and truck components
● High-pressure and general structural applications
Alloy 6063 has excellent anti-rust properties, including cracking from stress corrosion, when in its thermal-treated condition (T1, T4, T5, or T6). It works nicely with various finishing choices, including clear, hard coat, color, and dipping, making it great for use in secondary operations. Depending on the intended purpose of the ultimate aluminum extrusion structure, these treatments may be applied for aesthetic, functional, or protective reasons.
Use cases for aluminum alloy 6063 include:
● Electrical conduits
● Doors and window frames
● Tubes and pipes for irrigation systems
● electrical conduit and other components.
● Construction and architectural products
Although similar to 6063, this particular alloy is normally exclusively produced via aluminum extrusion design. It's frequently used in building and construction applications, resulting in structures with superior surface finishes. It can be thermal-treated for toughness.
It’s commonly used in:
● Retail fittings
● Shop trims and fittings
● Domestic applications
Weiye Group uses various aluminum grades for extrusion, depending on our clients' needs. Reach out if you'd like to learn more about the characteristics of aluminum or the best ways to extrude aluminum alloys. Our team of engineers, technicians and designers will provide you with the best designs, products, or pieces to meet your construction and architectural requirements. We always strive to exceed our clients' expectations. Get in touch for a no-obligation quotation.